It’s safe to say that President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi don’t enjoy a warm working relationship. Senate Republicans looking ahead to the fall are already worried that tensions between the two leaders could lead to another government shutdown fight — and concerned that they may pay the price for any such showdown in the November elections, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports:
“There is widespread anxiety among GOP senators that Trump’s penchant for picking fights is a political liability as his response to nationwide protests against police brutality appears to be the cause of his declining approval ratings.
“Republicans are now worried that he’s likely to pick a fight with Pelosi in September over government funding for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.”
To defuse the risk of a shutdown, some Senate Republicans are reportedly considering legislation that would keep the government running even if the required annual spending bills haven’t been passed. The Senate hasn’t yet passed any of the 12 appropriations bills, while House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) plans to mark up the spending bills next month.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) tells The Hill that the aim of the legislation would be to “get rid of shutting down the government as a lever that can be used by whoever chooses to do it” — or at least to get Senate Republicans on record as opposing a possible shutdown, helping them pin any blame on Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Some Democrats may be wary of automatically extending spending at previous levels or may object to the details of GOP proposals to prevent shutdowns.
“If Schumer and/or Pelosi wants to keep that open as an option, I think it will be pretty easy to connect the dots on whose fault it would be if we ever have a government shutdown,” Braun told The Hill.